Mur­der charge in ho­tel shoot­ing

The Province - - NEWS - KIM BOLAN kbolan@post­media.com twit­ter.com/kbolan

A B.C. man has been charged with a brazen af­ter­noon slay­ing out­side a Sur­rey ho­tel in March.

Johnny Steven Drynock, 22, is fac­ing one count of first-de­gree mur­der in the March 13 shoot­ing of Birinder­jeet Justin Bhangu in the parking lot of the Com­fort Inn Ho­tel in the 8200-block 166th Street.

Drynock re­mains in cus­tody in Kam­loops af­ter be­ing charged with three firearms of­fences last month in Mer­ritt.

“Fol­low­ing two months of ex­haus­tive work and in­ten­sive ev­i­dence gath­er­ing, the In­te­grated Homi­cide In­ves­ti­ga­tion Team has re­ceived charge ap­proval for first-de­gree mur­der against Mr. Drynock,” Staff Sgt. Jen­nifer Pound said Wed­nes­day.

“The me­dia and the pub­lic played an in­te­gral role in as­sist­ing IHIT iden­tify the sus­pect and en­sur­ing any is­sues sur­round­ing pub­lic safety were not over­looked.”

Drynock is sched­uled to make his first court ap­pear­ance in Sur­rey on Fri­day, Pound said.

She said the in­ves­ti­ga­tion is on­go­ing and that IHIT is look­ing for in­for­ma­tion on a mo­tive.

A sus­pect in Bhangu’s killing was cap­tured on video sur­veil­lance cam­eras fo­cused on the ho­tel parking lot. Bhangu was in the driver’s seat of an Acura MDX when his sus­pected shooter backed into a nearby parking spot in a Nis­san Pathfinder about 2:20 p.m.

The sus­pect was seen in video ex­it­ing his ve­hi­cle and ap­proach­ing the driver’s side of the Acura. He be­gan fir­ing shots at Bhangu.

The sus­pect then ran back to his ve­hi­cle and fled the parking lot west­bound, mak­ing a right hand turn onto Fraser Hwy.

Po­lice found the Pathfinder used in the mur­der in Kelowna on March 14.

Bhangu, 29, was a well-known gang­ster with links to some of the re­cent vi­o­lence in the Lower Main­land. He had a crim­i­nal record dat­ing back more than a decade.

His fam­ily is­sued a state­ment through IHIT Wed­nes­day:

“This dev­as­tat­ing in­ci­dent is some­thing that has changed our lives for­ever. It is with heavy hearts that we mourn the loss of our son, our brother and our friend,” it said.

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